Good dog-company...

 In the kitchen waiting for a dog biscuit.
Rusty the Dog

My dear dog Rusty has certainly lifted his gardening game. 'A garden seat underneath the bough, a cup of tea, a dog biscuit, and thou.' Or something! He is following me around, listening to me, and concentrating. He is providing jolly good dog-company.

Thursday 15th August

Just a quick entry while we take a break and I slurp my hot drink. I reckon I'm getting better at garden maintenance. I started off quite down-hearted looking at the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden. There seemed to be so much to do, as if I'd let the garden go completely wild. I hadn't even raked up last autumn's oak leaves from the little grass lawn, and I hadn't cleaned up properly after winter's Gunnera chopping down session.

But it only took an hour and a half, and now the garden is well-organised and under control again. So easy, when one has good gardening company!

After my break we are going to tackle the small strip by the water's edge and the paths. And then, hey presto! All will be well and proper again. The rhododendrons can start blooming without embarrassment, the hostas can unfurl shyly without weedy neighbours, and the forget-me-nots (I'm shifting lots out of the lawn into the garden) can cover themselves with pretty blues and thank me they weren't mown down. The Stumpy Garden will have been saved!

 Wet dog Rusty!
Good Dog Rusty!

It's now the end of the day, and I've pretty much finished this garden off. I mean it! The weeding by the water was easy, and I even found a rhododendron with the label 'Iyi Maddensii' - though a Google image search doesn't help much, and the colour description is all wrong. My rhododendron is pale lemon. Ha! The label is wrong, wrong, wrong.

 This shrub has small flowers.
Rusty the Dog and Lemon Rhododendron

This is an older photograph of the rhododendron, with Rusty the slightly younger dog! He has continued to be brilliant company all day, standing in the water race, barking at lots of birds, and chasing several aeroplanes off the property.

Friday 16th August

Another beautiful day in spring paradise, and another red Camellia behind the garage has started flowering, as have the two pink sasanqua seedlings behind the Stables. So pretty!

 A Japonica, name unknown.
Red Camellia

New Camellias

I now have two new Camellias to plant. C.M. Wilson arrived last night, trade for a pork roast meal. My plantsman friend was given several free shrubs to top up his mail-order, and is giving me all his rejects. They are extremely handsome rejects, I must add. Well, I've decided to put Weeping Maiden and C.M. Wilson in the Septic Tank Garden where they'll be seen from the house. Allow me to quote the donator of the Camellias:

Having a weeping maiden in a septic tank garden seems a reportable offence to me. Hee hee...

I also planted a pink recycled rose in the front of the border, in full sun, and did some scrambly speed weeding. Out, out, damned Lamium!

Saturday 17th August

Another yippee! It's raining on my newly planted Camellias. Blast! A gardening hand injury, non-specific, which may have been exacerbated late yesterday by trying to play J.S. Bach on the piano far too fast.

Rhododendron Shame!

And shame! A Google search through my journal on 'shifting rhododendrons', to try and find out the name of the early red (flowering deep in the Wattle Woods). TEN pages, each with eleven entries! How many rhododendrons can one woman shift in her gardening lifetime, anyway? There's a small possibility it's Fireman Jeff, since I keep rambling on about a 'fireman red'...

Chrysomanicum :
The rhododendron Chrysomanicum had been shifted once before - successfully! Oh dear.

And now, an oops. Regarding mobile rhododendrons, I have one RIP to record. Chrysomanicum, boldly shifted in the height of last summer (I really tried to keep watering it, honestly, and it was replanted in mid-summer dappled shade), is awfully dead. I'm waiting for a sign - a leaf? - but I fear it is lost. That should be a lesson to me.

 To check the sheep - you can see a few of them in the orchard.
Off We Go!


+10It's still drizzling, but Rusty the best-ever gardening wonder-dog is very bored, so we are going to check the sheep, then go down the road for a wet walk. Then I might finish my couch cycling tour of France. I know the chaps finished weeks ago, but I'm slower and much more thorough, as far as the scenery goes. I love looking at the green summer countryside, the French villages, and the mountains. Maybe one day...

Sunday 18th August

Amazing! I've been watching the BIG BOATS in San Francisco Bay while having breakfast. They look so scary. But I have a new thing to be thankful for. I'm so thankful that I'm NOT on one of those America's Cup boats!

It rained all night, with splattering noises on the cottage roof (which I love) and thumping noises on the window sill (nocturnal visits from Percy the cat). I've got more seeds to sow and cuttings to take, and that might be about all the gardening I do. I'll also take some photographs of the pink Camellias behind the Stables. I'm not going to miss one single shrub flowering this spring.